Panousis skeptical about law allowing early prison release

Alternate Minister for Citizens’ Protection Yiannis Panousis (photo) has distanced himself in an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini from a law passed on Friday that allows inmates suffering from serious disabilities to be released early and placed under house arrest.

“There are lots of ways to do it. I would not do it this way,” Panousis said of Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos’s law, which paves the way for November 17 terrorist Savvas Xeros to leave jail.

“The court could have decided this for Xeros. There is no reason for the legislator to become involved,” said Panousis, a former Democratic Left MP. The minister added that measures to ease overcrowding in Greek prisons would not solve the problems experienced by the penal system.

“With a reoffending rate of 60 percent, most will end up in jail again,” he said. “Also, you do not clear out the hardened criminals, who run things. The issue is who controls the jails. I want to hear a plan regarding the control of jails.”

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